Moving to Villach was extremely important in shaping who I am today. I never moved back to the US after finishing my two years in Austria—instead, I stayed and am a teacher and children's book illustrator, still living in Villach. Being abroad gave me the chance to understand a different culture, encounter other perspectives, and to become much more open minded than I was when I first left the US. This is a message I get to keep sharing, whether it's teaching students to be critical and think about issues from different perspectives or being mindful of the message that a children's book can have for young readers and approaching this with a sense of international mindedness and inclusiveness when creating my illustrations.
Megan Higgins received a bachelor’s degree in history from Ohio University. She was a US teaching assistant from 2009 to 2011. Photos courtesy of Megan Higgins